Dialogue Between Writer & Reader – Is it Dialogue Education?
Just back from two weeks holiday, during which time I read rather a lot. It put me in mind of an ongoing discussion we’ve had here at Global Learning Partners: can reading be considered “real” dialogue? This question arises in the context of considering what new “products and services” we can offer to our friends who use Dialogue Education:
- If, for instance, we offered self-paced online modules for individuals who work alone, reading through materials and never conversing with another student or facilitator about the work . . . is this “true” Dialogue Education?
- If an individual simply reads Jane Vella’s books . . . is that Dialogue Education?
Real dialogue is predicated upon the capacity for empathy: the will to hear and respond to another's experience and perceptions–and thus, to acknowledge the fundamental humanity of an other. As an act of mutual inquiry, conversation expands our awareness of what [18th century Scottish philosopher David] Hume called ‘the conversable world’ beyond the self. At its best, writing creates that intimate connection with a reader. When it succeeds, both writer and reader are less alone.
Less alone, sure, but is it Dialogue Education? What do you think – can the dialogue between a writer and reader be considered Dialogue Education? Why or why not?